Berko sides spend Christmas sitting at the top of the tree

James Edwards scored a goal and was named man of the match for the Berko men's second XI in a 2-0 victory over Letchworth
James Edwards scored a goal and was named man of the match for the Berko men's second XI in a 2-0 victory over Letchworth

Berkhamsted and Hemel Hempstead Hockey Club enjoyed a good end to 2013, with the men’s and ladies’ second teams both perched proudly at the top of their respective leagues.

The men’s third team finished the year with a gritty draw against Shefford & Sandy, while the men’s fifth XI beat Winchmore Hill & Enfield in a nine-goal thriller.

The men’s and ladies’ firsts suffered narrow defeats and the ladies’ third team had a walkover win against Stevenage to end the year in fifth place.

The men’s second XI recorded arguably the pick of the results as they won 2-0 against Letchworth III, despite missing talisman Roger Payton.

It looked like it was going to be a hard afternoon as Letchworth pushed back and expertly passed the ball around for the first couple of minutes, but Berko rallied to take the lead through James Edwards from Julian Laxon’s cross.

Almost immediately some good forward interplay led to a short corner, with Laxon faking to shoot but instead passing to Paul Whitby who volleyed in to secure the win.

The ladies’ seconds, meanwhile, had Mel Morton and Paula Wilson to thank for their 6-0 demolition of Leighton Buzzard.

Morton helped herself to four goals and Wilson bagged a brace as Berko ran out comfortable winners to strengthen their position at the top of the table.

The men’s fifths continued the winning theme with a 5-4 victory against Winchmore Hill & Enfield as Jeremy Steed and Matt Buckley notched two goals apiece, while the third team shared a 2-2 draw with Shefford & Sandy.

Elsewhere, veteran defender Andrea Bettridge scored her first goals in three years but it was not enough to prevent the ladies’ first team from losing 3-2 away at Saffron Walden.

The men’s firsts lost out 6-3 at Letchworth, while the fourths lost 2-1 to Shefford & Sandy despite a goal from 13-year-old James Godsell.

There are no matches for any of the club’s teams next week and they return to action at the start of 2014.